Coal dumped on road in Mpumalanga as Optimum miners demand pay

26 November 2018 - 11:34 By Nico Gous
Optimum Coal Mine workers protested outside Mpumalanga's Hendrina power plant on Monday morning, demanding to be paid.
Optimum Coal Mine workers protested outside Mpumalanga's Hendrina power plant on Monday morning, demanding to be paid.
Image: Marco Longari/AFP

Protests erupted outside the Hendrina power station in Mpumalanga on Monday morning, as workers demanded their salaries.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe tweeted: "Workers of Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) are currently protesting at the entrance of the mine and also along the route to the Hendrina power station. OCM employees are demanding to be paid their monthly salaries. Hendrina is one of the 10 stations with low stockpiles."

University of Cape Town energy expert Anton Eberhard tweeted: "These kinds of actions will hasten the energy transition and the closure of old, dirty, costly coal power stations."

This comes after Eskom announced on November 16 that it was moving coal from its Medupi power station in Limpopo by road to Mpumalanga, where 10 power stations have coal stockpile shortages.

Power stations are supposed to have enough coal to keep the lights on for 20 days.

The affected Mpumalanga power stations are Arnot, Camden, Duvha, Hendrina, Komati, Kriel, Kendal, Majuba, Matla and Tutuka.

During a media briefing on November 16, the power utility said it had a recovery plan in place, but "loadshedding cannot be ruled out for the remainder of 2018".


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